Hitting my Macros

Last month, I started attending classes at CrossFit Kingfield. After five months of doing my own thing and not being consistent with any of my training, outside of attending a weekly yoga and boxing class, it was like I hit a giant reset button.

I had to be humble and take a step back in regards to all my lifts and recognize that my form and technique needed work.

In addition, my numbers had gone down. I was doing many of the WODs scaled rather than Rx. The phrase “Use it or lose it” seems to apply.

But I was okay with this. I feel like the new gym has given me the opportunity to reexamine all my lifts and fix issues right away so that I don’t continue down a path of little progress and failed attempts.

Coach Chris has met with me for the past two weeks one-on-one to drill the Oly lifts and all the coaches have noted progress just over the past month. But there is still a lot to learn and lot more improvement needed.

Strength, or lack thereof, has always been an issue for me. In addition to consistent and focused training, the most difficult piece of the puzzle for me has been nutrition.

I’ve lost weight in the last six months as I am constantly underfed.

My Paleo adventures in the kitchen have led to some amazing recipes and meals and definitely a lot more vegetables in my diet, but it has failed to provide enough calories and carbs.

With all that said, Coach Danny and I met to discuss my short-term and long-term goals. At the top of my list is getting competition ready for the Granite Games in September.

We mapped out a training schedule, but it would all be wasted effort if I don’t fix my food intake.

Knowing I need to eat more, Danny recommended I hit a daily goal of 200 grams of protein, 70 grams of fat and 260 grams of carbohydrates.

These three are macronutrients, or macros, which provide calories or energy. Interestingly, carbohydrate provides 4 calories per gram, protein provides 4 calories per gram and Fat provides 9 calories per gram.

The McKinley Health Center does a better job than I can of explaining macros in this article.

So how do I hit these numbers everyday? That’s a good question and one that I am trying to figure out.

I bought some staples to have on hand in my freezer and pantry, like white rice, chicken breasts, eggs and bacon.

I am also relying on two protein shakes per day to help hit that 200g goal. With any new diet, it takes some trial and error to get it right.

Here’s a glimpse at my breakfast and dinner yesterday:

Eggs (2)12100
Bacon (2 slices)570
Eggo Waffles (2)4724
Jasmine Rice (1 serving)3040
Cooked Shrimp (1 cup)1801

I have a mix of some food higher in protein and some food higher in carbs. Even after these two meals, I am still shy of my goal.

It definitely takes a lot of experimenting and some research to figure out the best food combos. Plus, a lot of planning out meals ahead of time.

In terms of resources, I have found a few that have been helpful so far:

FoodMacros.com – a simple website that allows you to easily search and save meals that fit into your macros.

MyFitnessPal – the app and website allows you to keep a daily diary of your food intake. It utilizes crowdsourcing to help you easily find everything from brand name items to generic meats and vegetables to enter into your diary and see the nutritional content.

While the website will try to sell you on online coaching, the blog has some good tips about measuring food and counting calories.

In addition to these websites and apps, I’ve been on the look out for articles to get smart on tracking my macros. Here’s a good article from Breaking Muscle that explains the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) approach.

Overall, the main takeaway is that I need to eat more or I am just going to be spinning my wheels at the gym wondering why I’m not getting any bigger or stronger.

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